"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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New home construction
Free standing gas fireplaces
resemble wood-burning stoves. All surfaces are exposed, so these fireplaces tend to be more effective in supplying heat to a home since heat is not lost up the chimney or in wall cavities.


Gas Fireplaces
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Gas fireplace inserts
. Zero clearance gas fireplaces. Free-standing gas fireplaces.
There are three basic types of gas fireplaces; Inserts, zero-clearance units and free-standing units.
Gas fireplace inserts are meant to be installed in an existing fireplace cavity, to convert a wood-burning fireplace to use natural gas or propane. Existing chimneys must be relined with an approved vent when a gas insert is installed.
Zero-clearance gas fireplaces. This type of fireplace is factory built and has many advantages over the traditional fireplace. There is no need for an expensive foundation.
A zero-clearance gas fireplace weighs as little as 75 lbs. (35 kg) and a wood burning unit 200-400 lbs. (87-174 kg). The unit can be placed just about anywhere. Specially designed double-walled high temperature chimneys can pass through closets while direct vented gas fireplaces don't need a chimney at all.
Zero-clearance gas fireplaces
can be easily installed in existing homes and even more so in new home construction. The efficiency of a zero-clearance unit

Zero-clearance direct vent gas fireplace
is about the same as a heatilator type metal insert that is placed inside a masonry fireplace to heat and circulate room air. The fireplace can be turned on either by a wall mounted switch or remote control.

WARNING. NEVER BURN TREATED LUMBER IN A FIREPLACE OR WOOD STOVE. 'Wolmanized' lumber contains arsenic and chromium which are highly toxic. Do not use cedar shingles for kindling, they are also treated with chemicals.
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